Earlier this month, Fern Halper (VP and Senior Director, Advanced Analytics at TDWI) and Angela Harvey (Senior Director of Solution Management, Big Data and Analytics at SAP) delivered a webinar on the future of IT management. [Watch the replay here] Fern kicked it off by highlighting some of the challenges that IT departments are facing in the new age of big data, namely the increase in size, diversity, and speed of the data they need to use effectively. This tidal wave of data is coming from new platforms, devices, and infrastructure distributed in more locations than ever before. The issue is compounded by the various types of cloud environments available and the high degree of virtualization that has become industry standard.

Currently, IT departments do a good job of monitoring various individual aspects of their landscapes such as network, storage, and compute, but these specialized teams are restricted by only having information from their own section of infrastructure. This leads to 3am all-hands calls with lots of finger pointing when an issue is affecting multi aspects of the IT landscape. Fern called for an end to these silo-ed monitoring strategies and the resultant resource-intensive manual analyses. For her, the key is adoption of advanced analytics solutions that can provide actionable insights from the huge amounts of data being collected. These analytics principles have seen great success in business organizations and TDWI research shows that IT users are now starting to adopt advanced analytics as well.

Advanced analytics can take many forms but Fern focused on the three most applicable to IT: visual, real time, and predictive. Visual analytics simplifies the digestion of large volumes of data allowing users to get an overview of what’s happening at-a-glance. Having real-time capabilities enables IT departments to respond as soon as an event occurs which greatly reduces the domino effect of small problems spiraling into large issues. Better than being reactive is being able to anticipate. This is why predictive analytics is so powerful for IT. Imagine using time series forecasting to expand allotted memory before an application runs out of disk space or using predictive maintenance to replace a network switch before it fails and disrupts end user processes. Recent TWDI research shows the uptake of advanced analytics at about 1/3 for IT but the use cases are still restricted to individual silos. In Fern’s eyes, the goal is to break down those silos and achieve a holistic view of the entire IT landscape.

This final comment from Fern set the stage for Angela who wasted no time in showing how SAP IT Operations Analytics (SAP ITOA) is a powerful tool specifically built for IT that harnesses all of the aforementioned flavours of advanced analytics. In describing how SAP is using SAP ITOA to manage its own internal IT environment, Angela touched on the visually pleasing dashboards used by everyone from the specialists to the CIO, how real time alerting changed the way outages are dealt with, and the out-of-the-box predictive capabilities that can reduce downtime and subsequently cost. The SAP IT team is also bringing master data, such as CMDB and customer contract data, into SAP ITOA and correlating it to IT events in order to better prioritize service. As for actionable insight, SAP ITOA is capable of executing scripts and calling APIs based on the triggering of real-time alerts – an important capability with the industry moving towards increased automation and software defined IT environments. By taking these proactive measures, IT can greatly reduce risk and optimize both infrastructure and personnel.

Watching a replay of this engaging webinar and download the associated presentation here:The Future of IT Management – IT Operations Analytics

For more information on SAP IT Operations Analytics, contact your SAP sales representative or visit sap.com/itoa.

 

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